Getting back to life

I have put off writing about my sister, Barbara because it was hard to go through it again. She passed away on March 3. I found out about it from a text message when I woke up that morning. There was no point in going back to the hospital. Connie and her husband cleared her personal belongings and all the photos out of the hospital room. The memorial had been moved up from May to April 2nd. I wanted to go home.

I had a day to gather my thoughts. My host in Reno, Susie got me to work helping were with a costume for a pink-themed cancer benefit at a ski area coming up. She had decided to go as Dolly Parton and wondered if I could letter a pink ski jacket she had. I did some lettering on my mac. Printed it out. And traced it with markers on the coat. Then we added rhinestones and glittery stuff. She came in second place and won some ski swag.

I flew on Southwest. It was easy to change my return flight. I found a flight to Hartford leaving late Sunday afternoon, March 5th. It was a red-eye with a layover in Denver. But it was what it was. By the time I got to my car and got to Hampden it was close to 2 a.m.

The old Kenmore during earlier days. The bright pink paper was Kathy’s DNR “Do not resuscitate” form.

The Refrigerator. I got home to find our old refrigerator was either dying or playing dead. I had cleaned out most of the food before I left. But the food in the freezer section was luke warm. Kathy and I bought that Kenmore in 1991 or 1992. I had plans to buy a modern, efficient, stainless steel one to match the stove. I  couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it while it was still working. In reality, I probably didn’t push the freezer door shut when I left for Reno. The magnets and gasket were dead. I did some quick googling to get an idea of what to get and where to go.

The next day my graphic work was beginning to pile up but first I had to pick up Marty a the pet sitter. Joanne is also a veterinary technician. She left a note with the bill:

She thought Marty was drinking too much water and peeing too often. She worried he might have kidney trouble.

Just what I needed. I had already decided to get the big lump removed from Marty’s side. That surgery was going to run about $900 to a thousand bucks. It wasn’t as big as some lumps I have seen on old dogs. A friend’s dog has one the size of a small water balloon. Marty’s was more like an extra handle – a little larger than a golf ball. Marty and I stopped at Aldi’s to pick up a few groceries. I wasn’t sure how much food to buy with the refrigerator on the fritz. But at least the freezer was freezing again.

Later that day I went to Sears. They had the Frigidaire one I wanted on sale. I looked into getting a larger one but I decided the kitchen was too small as it is. Like other Sears stores, it was deserted in there. The saleswoman was able to find the model I wanted once she found a computer terminal that wouldn’t crash. I listened to the obligatory “Maintenance Agreement” pitch. “But it would have replaced those frozen vegetables and that salmon filet you lost!”. I turned it down. As I left I pondered whether there was a maintenance agreement for a basset hound I could get. The problem with them is that they are usually good for the first few years. But you need them ten years later.

If you bought a potted plant at Sears they would try to sell you a maintenance agreement.

Delivery was going to take a whole week. So, I am lucky the old refrigerator could limp along.


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